When coming to terms with your family's new normal, many Christian parents wrestle with whether they can love God and their LGBTQ+ child. You may have been told that by loving your LGBTQ+ child, you are condoning their behavior. You may ask yourself if I embrace my child, am I turning my back on God? Or if I embrace God, am I turning my back on my child?"
Don't be afraid to explore these thoughts. Understanding this new relationship with those you love is an important part of the healing process.
It is not in spite of your faith but because of your faith that you need to love your LGBTQ+ child unconditionally. Think about it, who are we called to love? Is it only those who think, look, and live like us? Let's explore what Jesus taught. Before we can love the way Jesus did, we need to be committed to his teaching.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus answered him, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Many Embracing the Journey Care Team members are participating in this year’s Parent’s in Process, through teaching, and parent panel discussions. Greg and Lynn will be leading an extended time of open forum and Q & A. If you're a Christian parent who has an LGBTQ+ child and lots of questions, this event is for you. Are you wrestling with what it means to honor God, and continue to love and embrace your child after they've come out? If so, you are not alone on this journey
At The Reformation Project conference, you will hear from inspiring keynotes Christian leaders like Jen Hatmaker and, of course, the Reformation Project’s founder Matthew Vines. This year’s conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix-Chandler Golf Resort in Arizona.
Andrew and Debbie are a terrific Christian couple originally from England who today make their home in Denver, Colorado. They have been married for 24 years and raised their two now-adult children in their conservative Christian environment. Andrew is in sales for a large engineering company, and Debbie is a Business Manager for their local church.
They believed they understood God's plan and purpose for their family but struggled with how to love both God and a Transgender child. After their initial shock that their son was wrestling with gender dysphoria came a combination of anger, sadness, and guilt. They were stunned when realizing the gravity of their child's isolation. They began a retrospective analysis of their parenting, searching for clues of something they could have done to affect another outcome. As Debbie says, "it felt like a very lonely time of wandering in the desert before we found Embracing the Journey."
Following a lot of prayer, bible study, and counseling, both Andrew and Debbie achieved clarity and a renewed enthusiasm for God's plan for their lives. Understanding that they can love both God and their child, they stepped out in faith and launched Embracing the Journey's first support group for parents, specifically with transgender children. As members of our Care Team, Debbie and Andrew have led several parent support groups and provided one-on-one coaching for countless hurting parents who have transgender children. They have also started a support group for parents with LGBTQ+ children at their church.
Today, Andrew and Debbie cling to Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
This Month’s Favorite Quote
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
— MOTHER TERESA
In February 1994, sixty-three years after Mother Teresa took her initial vows as a nun, we had the opportunity to be present during her address at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC. She captivated us then and does to this day with so many of her wise and profound observations. We love this quote of hers because it seems to capture the essence of humanity. Keep in mind; she devoted herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta who experienced extreme hunger. Her quote is especially true for our LGBTQ+ children, who too often experience judgment and condemnation. Fulfilling their hunger to be loved, especially by their mom and dad, is like a healing balm.
Do you breakout in a cold sweat knowing the are holidays around the corner?
For many Christian parents who have LGBTQ+ children knowing the holidays are coming can be a source of great anxiety. Worrying about the family gathering and what an aunt, uncle, grandparent, brother-in-law, or sibling may do or say to create a ruckus. More than that, being concerned about your child being ambushed or trapped with questions like, “you're still not dating anyone.” Or seeing your brother-in-law greet others with a hug, but with your child, he raises an unapproving eyebrow. Just the thought of these potential situations can cause indigestion without even eating a turkey dinner.
DON'T GO IT ALONE. There are many ways to minimize these awkward and harmful moments while strengthening your relationship with your child. Being in community by joining one of our Embracing the Journey parent support groups is like a lifeline for most parents. We introduce Christian parents to other Christian parents from North America, oftentimes with very conservative backgrounds on similar journeys.
Parents receive the opportunity to hear and share their stories and discuss their faith, fears, prayer requests, and successes. These are SAFE and CONFIDENTIAL groups that members of our Embracing the Journey Care Team facilitate. All our Care Team leaders have an LGBTQ+ child and have experienced significant healing. Lessons are designed to help parents move along the continuum (see image below) from a place of fear and survival to thriving, where they find peace and purpose, which they once thought impossible.
Life Continuum With an LGTBQ+ Child
N E W N O R M A L
Consider Partnering With Us
We are privileged to see God working in the lives of so many families bringing healing and restoration. We want to invite you to be part of this ministry. It’s the faithful generosity of friends like you, supporting Embracing the Journey each month, that allows us to help so many hurting families.
In October, we’re praying for 20 new monthly partners to help us help more Christian families with LGBTQ+ loved ones. With your first monthly gift, we’ll send you two copies of Embracing the Journey, A Christian Parents Blueprint to Loving Your LGBTQ Child. We trust it will encourage you to grow in a deeper relationship with your LGBTQ+ child and with God. And you can give the second copy to a friend to help them do the same.